Questioning Empowerment: Working with women in Honduras

Empowerment is a term which is used by organisations as diverse as the World Bank and grassroots community groups. This book examines the various meanings given to the concept, and the many ways in which power can be expressed, in personal relationships and in wider social interactions. It focuses on two development projects in Honduras, comparing their different approaches and …

The Raising Her Voice Nepal Programme

While gender inequality remains extreme in Nepal, Oxfam’s Raising Her Voice (RHV) programme on women’s empowerment is contributing to and reinforcing an ongoing long-term shift in gender norms, driven by a combination of urbanization, migration, rising levels of literacy and access to media; all of which have combined to erode women’s traditional isolation. That shift has produced some important windows …

Bridging the Gap: Building a financial services system that serves poor people in Sri Lanka

Providing financial services for poor people in Sri Lanka in partnership with financial institutions, donors, service providers, and policy-makers, Oxfam GB is helping to build democratic, inclusive financial systems in Sri Lanka that serve the majority – poor people. Oxfam’s indirect, facilitative approach aims to cultivate links between the formal financial services sector and people living in poverty. Poor farmers …

Systems Thinking: An introduction for Oxfam programme staff

Development organizations frequently face and overcome challenges in programme delivery. But what happens when the proposed solutions fail? How can organizations adapt to changing conditions and ensure the benefits of programmes are shared as widely as possible? This paper introduces the concept of ‘systems thinking’ for Oxfam staff and the broader development community. Systems thinking encourages development staff to understand …

How Oxfam is facilitating change in water and sanitation management in Tajikistan

In Tajikistan, water is a key resource in emergencies, and for irrigation and drinking water, yet its management is chaotic, which often leads to breakdowns in water supply systems. Many communities have resorted to taking drinking water directly from irrigation canals and rivers. Oxfam has been working for nearly three years with the government and key water sector players to …

The Chukua Hatua Accountability Programme, Tanzania

The Chukua Hatua (CH) programme run by Oxfam GB and its implementing partners is a five-year governance and accountability initiative in Tanzania (2010–15). The goal of the CH programme is to achieve increased accountability and responsiveness of government to its citizens. The programme aims to achieve this by creating active citizenship; that is, citizens who know their rights and responsibilities, …

Strength in Numbers: Fishing communities in India

Villagers in the Tikamgarh and Chattarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh traditionally had the right to fish the region’s ponds, but had lost control of these valuable resources to landlords and contractors. Despite encountering violent opposition, the fishers began organizing to reclaim control of the ponds. They established village co-operatives and formed a federation that gave a strong voice to the …